Leading countries of plastics consumption in Europe 2017

 In this ranking of the leading plastic consumers in Europe in the year 2017, Germany appears to be the country with the highest consumption of plastics, accounting for about one quarter of the European plastics consumption. Concerning the origins of this consumption, most of the production of plastic in EU member states was generated by the sectors of packaging and consumer goods, according to data from 2015.

Plastic waste in Europe

   As of 2016, Germany was also the biggest producer of plastic packaging waste in the European Union (EU-28). On the other hand, Ireland ranked first regarding the per capita plastic packaging waste generated. Although Germany appeared to produce the most plastic waste, it was also the country in Europe with the highest rates of collection and recycling of PET plastic and bottles.  

The issue of single-use products

   Although the recycling rate of packaging waste in the EU has increased since 2006, most of the single-use plastic litter found on North Atlantic beaches still consisted of plastics made of fragments, food packaging or nets and ropes. Thereon, the use of disposable and non-recyclable products appears to have become a significant concern of citizens in various European countries.

Ranking of the leading countries of plastics consumption in Europe in 2017*

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Release date

January 2019


Europe, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, United Kingdom

Survey time period


Supplementary notes

* Share on a 51.2 million metric tons demand in Europe.

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